Jimmy Woode

James Bryant Woode (September 23, 1926 April 23, 2005) was an American jazz bassist.


Woode was born in Philadelphia. His father, also named Jimmy Woode, was a music teacher and pianist who had played with Hot Lips Page. Woode studied piano and bass in Boston at Boston University and at the Conservatory of Music, as well as at the Philadelphia Academy.

He played and/or recorded in bands with Flip Phillips, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Nat Pierce, Sidney Bechet, Billie Holiday, Jaki Byard, Earl Hines, Jimmy Witherspoon, Clark Terry and Miles Davis.

He joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1955,[1] appearing on many of Ellington's recordings, including Such Sweet Thunder and Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook, both from 1957, as well as the historic 1956 Newport Jazz Festival session. He stayed with the Orchestra until 1960, when he left to live in Europe.

Jimmy Woode's song "Just Give Me Time" was covered by Carola in 1966, first released on her album Carola & Heikki Sarmanto Trio, reaching the Finnish charts in 2004.

An original member of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band,[1] in 1995 he also toured with Lionel Hampton's Golden Men of Jazz.

In 2003, Woode formed a trio with renowned drummer Pete York and German jazz musician/comedian Helge Schneider, reaching a younger generation of listeners on a tour through Germany with his interpretation of jazz classics such as "Georgia" and "Summertime". As a consequence of his co-operation with Schneider, Woode also starred in the 2004 feature film Jazzclub.[2] In the role of Steinberg, a struggling jazz bassist, he showed considerable acting skills.

He died in April 2005 at age 78 at his home in Lindenwold, New Jersey, of post-surgical complications.[3]


As leader

As sideman

With Kenny Clarke

With Ted Curson

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin

WIth Nathan Davis

With Eric Dolphy

With Duke Ellington

With Art Farmer

With Paul Gonsalves

With Johnny Griffin

With Jim Hall

With Johnny Hodges

With John Lewis and Svend Asmussen

With Mythologie

With Sahib Shihab

With Sunbirds

With Clark Terry

With Mal Waldron


  1. 1 2 Steve Voce Obituary: Jimmy Woode, The Independent, 28 April 2005
  2. IMDb
  3. Keepnews, Peter. "Jimmy Woode, Ex-Ellington Bassist, Dies at 78" The New York Times, April 30, 2005. Accessed May 30, 2013.
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